Chief of the Business Travel Association, Clive Wratten, has called for a "wholehearted" collaboration from the travel industry during the post-pandemic recovery period.
Speaking at the 2021 ITT Conference onboard MSC Virtuosa on Sunday (12 September), Wratten said he feels it is a "priority" the industry focus on recovery "across the board".
"To recover properly, we must not slip back into the civil wars the industry has been fighting, such as distribution costs," he added. "The industry must never take the business travel eco-system for granted again, and we must continue to operate as a whole entity."
Wratten also slammed the UK government’s traffic light system, saying the regime continued to "shackle" travel for business and leisure.
He further called on the authority to "take control" of the testing market after a study of 450 overseas travellers carried out by the BTA found 75% had not had their PCR results checked upon returning to the UK.
"It’s not working and the UK is suffering on the global stage as a whole," Wratten added. "We will be working with other associations to get this message across on every platform and into every government department.
"We cannot afford to fall further behind in international trade this Autumn."
According to the BTA’s business travel tracker, from the decrease of business travel alone, UK GDP has lost more than £59.3 billion since May 2021.
However, Wratten also reported new data collected by the association showed domestic business travel is "picking up".
"Even though our industry has seen some of our darkest days, the BTA and its group of over 50 industry partners have a deeper sense of unity following the pandemic, and myself, and my team, have an even stronger sense of drive and devotion to our sector than ever before," Wratten added.
"The industry will be loud and proud once more and lead the economic recovery, together we can and will achieve a sustainable recovery. This will ensure we never take business travel and travel for granted again."